5 Common Health Insurance Misconceptions
Remaining in good physical and mental health is a challenge to many. With the dynamics of lifestyle diseases and other ailments slowly on the rise, is also an increase in the category of health problems among individuals. This has led to the health related quality of life being compromised on a daily basis. Because of this, it becomes indispensable for you to look after your health care needs. A comprehensive health insurance plan takes care of most of the expenses incurred, due to health care treatments and services. According to the National Health Interview Survey of Jan-June 2009, 45.4 million persons of all ages were uninsured. This proves that there are different misconceptions among people regarding the need to buy health insurance for themselves and their family.
Top Myths from the Uninsured
1. "I don't need health insurance now, I'm perfectly healthy, why pay unnecessarily?" This is a very common perception of an individual who doesn't feel the need to have health insurance. The biggest paradox lies with the fact that there are so many people who don't feel the necessity to have an individual health insurance policy. Currently, 47 million Americans don't have a basic policy, with the numbers alarmingly on the rise. Most feel they can buy a health insurance policy only when they grow old or there is an absolute need, like a serious cardiac ailment or a condition requiring surgical intervention.
2. "I don't require coverage for Disability or Long Term Care policy." This is another misconception among individuals. However, statistics suggest that people above the age of 40 are 4 times more prone to suffer a disability, including women, who have high chances of disability due to ailments such as osteoporosis. Many customers don't know that the premium for these policies are tax-deductible and can be written off with 'return of premium' features that ensure that the client will have the accumulated premium returned at the end of the policy term.
3. Another common misconception lurking in the minds of the customers is that the insurance companies will increase the rates if there is a claim; however, this is not entirely true in case of individual insurance plans. There is a minor increase in the interest rates, depending upon the 'trend factors'. The increased rates in case of claims are true only in the case of Group Insurance, which is given by an employer.
4. Co-pay plans for health insurance, covering items such as doctors' visits and the subsequent prescription drugs, often makes a customer pay more and get less. This is another general misconception among people.
More recent health insurance plans offered by insurance companies are specifically designed to offer low premiums because the co-pays are excluded. These are also beneficial because they provide medical coverage along with tax exemption benefits. The co-pay plans mostly exist in group health insurances where the employer bears at least 50% of the employees' premium, thereby reducing the financial load.
5. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (or COBRA) is not a substitute for Health Insurance Plans. Many think COBRA can take care of then for a long time, which is another popular misconception. The COBRA deals with many issues, some which are related to emergency room treatments, disability insurance and continuation of health insurance programs for employees after leaving employment. It should be brought to notice that the COBRA plan after employment only lasts for 18 months, except under special circumstances. This policy automatically gets terminated and can lead to individuals remaining uninsured. It is highly recommended to switch to a private health insurance policy during the 18 month transition phase to avoid risks and complications that may arise in the future.
In this fast paced world where healthy living is the need of the hour, it is absolutely necessary to put your health first and to get a comprehensive health insurance plan. Getting solicited for the plan that best suits your budget, and puts your health in safe hands, is the first step to remaining healthy while living better.